Not In Jersey: The Games We Play The Games We Play - Not In Jersey

The Games We Play

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Games We Play

One of the things I really want to do is have a family game night. My kids play games together sometimes and even more so when they have friends over, but we rarely play games as a family. And we own a lot of games. I cleared out some of the babyish games that we will never use again, but I kept some favorites. Many of our games are good for kids in the age range of 5-10, and some are great for even older. We are always looking for new favorites to add to our collection and I thought it would be fun to share the ones we already own, in case there are others interested. I know there are some here that everyone already has, but there are also some that you probably haven’t heard of yet! I have arranged them basically in order from the games that appeal to the youngest kids up to the oldest! Links may be affiliate links.

1. The Little Engine That Could Game


Possibly not available anymore. Ages 4+.
Our box broke so we keep the board and all the pieces in a bag. Simon still enjoys taking out the tracks and setting them up! The play factor is better than the game with its rules, but it is definitely cute.

2. Brown Bear – Panda Bear What Do You See

Age 3+.
A matching game, but better than an ordinary one because of the pictures and the book that it is based on. The current price as linked is definitely too high, so look for this elsewhere!

3. Hi-Ho Cherry-O

Ages 3-6 – Contains a lot of small parts!
Great for counting skills as well as fine motor skills, but beware of tiny cherries everywhere!

4. Chutes and Ladders

Age 3+.
It is so exciting that Amazon has the classic version of this game – it’s the one we have, from when I was little! This game is obviously a classic. I actually used to use it as a teaching device when I worked with kids – I used the pictures as examples of natural punishments – the kid who stood on a counter to reach a cookie jar fell down and got hurt; the kid who returned a lost purse got a reward as a thank you; etc.

5. Candyland

Age 3+
Another classic version is available and we have my childhood version of this one too, although we also had a different version for awhile. This is definitely a great first board game for young kids, as it is easy to play, features wins and losses throughout, and makes you imagine a land of candy!

6. Shopping For Shabbos

Age 3+.
Looking for a Jewish specific game? This one is a classic matching game where kids can pretend to shop for the food they need!

7. Hungry Hippos

Age 4+. Contains small pieces.
We had this game when I was young too, but our version is newer. We keep the balls in a zip lock bag so they hopefully don’t fall out inside the game closet! This game is loud and silly and kids love it!

8. Reading Round Up

Age 4-7.
I got this game for Zachary when he was having trouble with sight words. It is a cute way to help kids develop better reading skills.

9. Zingo 1-2-3

Age 4+
This was a gift that has been played on and off by my kids and their friends. It is a bingo type matching game with one side of the boxes being objects you count and one side being addition problems. This makes it challenging for a range of ages.

10. Tea Party Game

Age 5+.
Gabbie got this for a birthday party when she was younger and it is just so cute! It even comes with a “table cloth!”

11. Marco’s Polos


Age 5+.
A quick color and pattern matching game which Simon loves!

12. Connect 4

Age 6+.
This game can definitely be played by younger kids without the object of getting the colors in a row. They can just drop in the pieces to work on fine motor skills. My kids always ended up spreading the pieces all over the place though!

13. Mancala

Age 6+.
I got our Mancala board from an estate sale. I remember playing a similar game as a kid with rocks! The pretty marbles are a bonus.

14. Twister

Age 6+.
Totally can be played with younger or older ages! Another classic game, but this version has some extra options. Gets you moving!

15. Blink

Age 7+.
Similar to UNO, Zachary and Simon enjoy playing this quick matching card game!

16. Blokus

Age 7+
Simon got Blokus last year for Hanukkah and he loves it. The other kids and myself enjoy it too! It’s easy to understand, but it takes strategy, so it’s fun!

17. Mastermind

Age 8+.
This game gives me a headache but my kids love it! We actually have a kids’ version with larger pieces and Simon has been playing it since he was 6; plus I know younger kids who can play it too. It’s a game that makes you think!

18. Cholent The Game

Age 8+.
Another Jewish game. All the kids who have played this with my kids have really enjoyed it! The goal is to collect the ingredients you need to make cholent (stew) according to the recipe you are assigned.

19. Rummikub

Age 8+
I first played this with my nieces and nephews and it is one of the first games Dave and I owned after we got married. I think it is easier for adults to win by rearranging all the pieces in complicated ways, but kids can definitely play too!

20. Suspend

Age 8+.
After playing this at a friends’ house, the kids got it for Hanukkah. They played it enough to lose a piece, but then Zachary got the game as a birthday present, so we have a full set again! Balancing the pieces takes steady hands and the kids enjoy it!

21. Scrabble

Age 8+.
Great way to help kids learn to spell or to play as an adult for a fun challenge! My mom and I play scrabble on the computer every day! I don’t have this version, but growing up we had one with spaces for each tile so they don’t move around – and it also had a board on a turn table that could rotate towards each player!

22. Monopoly

Age 8+.
My kids have been playing Monopoly for years and I think they like it. I can’t stand it because it takes too long! For this problem, I recommend the Monopoly Deal Card Game!

23. The Game of Life

Age 8+.
Another classic favorite of mine! I received The Game of Life as an engagement present, which I think is such a cute idea. The kids like to play this too but they got in trouble for leaving the pieces all over the basement and they lost the privilege to play it for awhile! They did eventually earn it back though!

24. Yahtzee

Age 8+
I need someone to teach me to play this game! I know it’s supposed to be fun, but I have no idea how to play!

25. The Game of Baloney

Age 8+
Gabbie got this as a gift and she and her friends have enjoyed playing it! You have to guess which “fact” is actually baloney, which is pretty funny!

26. Draw Something

Age 8+.
Who remembers that app where you had to guess what your friend was drawing? This is the board game version of it! A fun game for parties.

27. Code Master

Age 8+.
This is a one person game. Zachary got it for Hanukkah last year. He plays it less than I would like because it seems like a fun one!

28. The Oregon Trail Card Game

Age 8+.
Like the computer game, the cards tell you whether you live or die. For kids learning about the Oregon Trail, I think this is a great supplement!

29. Apples to Apples

Age 12+ (Or get the Junior version for age 9+).
This is a definite family game night game! The Junior version features easier to understand words and less cultural references that kids may not understand. We have both versions!

30. Catch Phrase

Age 12+
Get your team to guess the word on the screen and then pass it on. Awhile back we had a friends’ game night and this was a hit!

While looking up these games, I kept seeing others that we don’t have! Even though our collection is large, we are obviously missing some important ones – so tell me which ones you think we need!